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50 Movies You Must See In 2020

the truth
Our guide to the most enticing movies hitting cinemas in 2020.


2020 is set to bring us new movies from cinematic titans like Steven Spielberg, Hirokazu Koreeda and Terrence Malick, along with the latest from recently emerging filmmakers like Trey Edward Shults, Marielle Heller and Kleber Mendonça Filho. And of course, we'll be introduced to a new group of talented debut directors, along with the usual raft of sequels and remakes.

Here is our guide to avoiding a tan in 2020 with the 50 movies that have most peaked our curiosity. All UK/ROI release dates are correct at time of posting but may be subject to change (i.e. there is no way in hell Tenet and Top Gun 2 are opening on the same day!).





1917
1917
Inspired by his grandfather's tales of life in the trenches of WWI, director Sam Mendes immerses us in the horrors of that conflict with a nerve wracking thriller constructed to appear as though filmed in two unbroken takes. George MacKay stars as the young soldier entrusted with a perilous mission, but it's cinematographer Roger Deakins who is the real star, delivering striking, horror influenced visuals.

In cinemas January 10th.




A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
In the US, children's TV host Fred Rogers has played a role in the development of millions of American children. Director Marielle Heller's film is inspired by the story of Tom Junod, a journalist who formed a friendship with Rogers following an interview assignment. With Tom Hanks delivering a quietly towering performance as Rogers, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood is an uplifting, feel good drama.

In cinemas January 31st.




A Hidden Life
A Hidden Life
Since his belated return to filmmaking with 2011's The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick has been relatively prolific. In our opinion he's delivered his finest work in recent years, but many viewers have been left pining for his more accessible earlier work. A Hidden Life sees Malick return to more traditional filmmaking to tell the story of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian farmer who stood firm against the invading Nazi regime.

In cinemas January 17th.




A Quiet Place Part II
A Quiet Place Part II
The husband/director and wife/star duo of John Krasinski and Emily Blunt return with a sequel to their surprisingly effective alien invasion thriller. Returning stars Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe are joined this time by Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou. Plot details have yet to be unveiled, but it appears Blunt and family have more to worry about this time than just the evil ETs.

In cinemas March 20th.



A White, White Day
A White, White Day
When it comes to filmmaking, no other country punches above its weight quite like Iceland. Despite having the population of a small city, the nation has been pumping out acclaimed films. Falling firmly in the Nordic Noir category, A White, White Day follows a police chief who conducts his own investigation into his wife's 'accidental' death, stalking a man he believes was having an affair with her.

In cinemas March 26th.



Amanda
Amanda
Like a gentler French companion piece to Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the SeaMikhaël Hers' drama Amanda sees a young man (Vincent Lacoste) entrusted with the care of his niece when his sister is killed in a terrorist attack. You'll want to bring a fresh box of tissues for this one, as it wrenches your heart out of your chest.

In cinemas January 3rd.




Bacurau
Bacurau
Brazil's Kleber Mendonça Filho continues to examines the social issues of his country with Bacurau, co-directed with Juliano Dornelles. Combining western tropes with surreal touches, Bacurau tells the story of a small rural commune forced to fight for survival when a group of well armed American invaders shows up.

In cinemas March 13th.




Calm with Horses
Calm with Horses
Lady Macbeth's Cosmo Jarvis plays 'Arm', a violent ex-boxer in this gritty Irish drama. When Arm is tasked with performing a hit for a local criminal gang, he looks for a way out of his troubled life. Of course, these things are never so easy. Barry Keoghan and Niamh Algar also star.

In cinemas March 6th.



Candyman
Candyman
The reboot craze continues with this semi-sequel to Bernard Rose's acclaimed 1992 adaptation of Clive Barker's short story 'The Forbidden'. The good news for fans is that Tony Todd returns as the eponymous villain, who comes to life whenever his name is spoken five times in a row in front of a mirror. Jordan Peele is onboard as co-writer and producer.

In cinemas June 12th.



Colour Out of Space
Colour Out of Space
Richard Stanley was one of the hottest genre filmmakers of the '90s before his career was derailed by his disastrous time working on the ill-fated The Island of Dr. Moreau. Stanley finally makes his return with this John Carpenter influenced HP Lovecraft adaptation. Nicolas Cage delivers a typically manic turn in this tale of a small town subjected to dark forces following the crash landing of a meteorite.

In cinemas February 28th.




Daniel Isn't Real
Daniel Isn't Real
Like a horror riff on Fight Club, Daniel Isn't Real stars Miles 'son of Tim' Robbins as a troubled young man who unleashes his imaginary friend (Patrick 'son of Arnold' Schwarzenegger) when he struggles to cope with adult life. The movie shares so many striking similarities with Todd Phillips' Joker that you'll come away wondering if Phillips was influenced by its source, author Brian DeLeeuw's novel 'In This Way I was Saved'.

In cinemas February 7th.




Dark Waters
Dark Waters
A change of pace for a filmmaker known for his unique brand of cinematic nostalgia, Todd Haynes' Dark Waters is a political drama based on true events. Mark Ruffalo plays Robert Bilott, a lawyer who exposed chemical company DuPont's poisoning of the water supply in rural West Virginia. Anne Hathaway and Tim Robbins also star.

In cinemas February 28th.



Deerskin
Deerskin
Quirky French filmmaker Quentin Dupieux continues his oddball vein of storytelling with DeerskinJean Dujardin plays a man who becomes besotted with the ill-fitting second hand deerskin jacket he purchases in the mountains of rural France. The jacket appears to have a transformative effect on his life, or maybe he's simply deluding himself. The always great Adèle Haenel co-stars.

In cinemas May 8th.




Dogs Don't Wear Pants
Dogs Don't Wear Pants
A contender for the best movie title of 2020, Dogs Don't Wear Pants is a Finnish black comedy set in the world of S&M enthusiasts. Director Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää's film follows Juha (Pekka Strang), a widower who has spent several years grieving for his late wife, until he meets Mona (Krista Kosonen), a dominatrix who opens his eyes to new sensual possibilities.

In cinemas March 13th.



Dune
Dune
Though it has its defenders, David Lynch's 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert's space opera Dune is something of a mess. Can Denis Villeneuve fare any better? In order to tell Herbert's story in more coherent fashion, Villeneuve's version is split across two films and boasts an all-star cast including Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin and Stellan Skarsgård.

In cinemas November 20th.



Ema
Ema
Back in 2016, Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín had no less than three movies (The Club; Neruda; Jackie) in cinemas in the space of a year, but he's made us wait three years for his latest. Ema stars Mariana Di Girolamo as the eponymous Ema, a reggaeton dancer whose life is upended by a traumatic incident. Larraín regular Gael García Bernal also stars.

In cinemas April 17th.



End of the Century
End of the Century
Drawing comparisons with Andrew Haigh's Weekend and Luca Guadagnino's Call Me by Your Name, writer/director Lucio Castro's feature debut End of the Century is an intimate love story focussed on two gay men who bond over a day in Barcelona. They come to realise that they had an encounter two decades earlier, when both men were still in the closet.

In cinemas February 21st.




First Love
First Love
The prolific Japanese shockmeister Takashi Miike returns with crime thriller/love story. Two young people fall in love while getting caught up in Tokyo's underworld over the course of a night that takes in brain-damaged boxers, underwear clad ghosts and an amputee mobster.

In cinemas February 14th.



Frankie
Frankie
The latest drama from writer/director Ira Sachs (Love is Strange; Little Men) is a family drama that sees three generations of a European family gather together for a vacation in Portugal. Isabelle Huppert, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Jérémie Rénier and Brendan Gleeson star.

In cinemas May 22nd.



Greed
Greed
Writer/director Michael Winterbottom collaborates with Steve Coogan once again for this mockumentary. Coogan plays a British fashion mogul (said to be inspired by TopShop's Philip Green) planning an elaborately tasteless 60th birthday party on a Greek island in this satire of the excesses of the super wealthy.

In cinemas February 21st.



The Grudge
The Grudge
Takashi Shimizu's Ju-on: The Grudge was one of a wave of acclaimed Japanese horror movies from the turn of the century that came to be collectively known as 'J-horror'. It was remade by Hollywood in 2004 and in 2020 a new take from director Nicolas Pesce (Piercing; The Eyes of My Mother) will hit cinema screens. Pesce has gathered an impressive cast including Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, Jacki Weaver and horror stalwart Lin Shaye.

In cinemas January 24th.



The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man
Following The Wolfman, Dracula and The Mummy, the latest of Universal's classic roster of horror villains to get the reboot treatment is The Invisible Man. Writer/director Leigh Whannell appears to be channelling Mary Reilly for his take, which focusses on the ex-wife of the titular transparent terror. Played by Elizabeth Moss, she finds herself harassed by an unseen presence, which she believes is her ex-husband (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), who has faked his death and returned with the power of invisibility.

In cinemas February 28th.



Last Night in Soho
Last Night in Soho
Details of Edgar Wright's latest have been scarce but it stars Thomasin McKenzie as a young woman who time travels back to 1960s London where she meets her idol, a singer played by Anya Taylor-Joy. From there, things take a turn into the horror genre, with Wright citing Don't Look Now and Repulsion as influences.

In cinemas September 18th.



Les Misérables
Les Misérables
Not another Les Mis adap? Don't worry, this one doesn't feature Anne Hathaway butchering any West End numbers. Rather director Ladj Ly's film is a crime thriller set in contemporary Paris which explores the tension between the city's law enforcement and its disaffected youth.

In cinemas April 24th.



Little Joe
Little Joe
Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner makes her English language debut with this sci-fi drama. The title refers to a plant developed by scientists Emily Beecham and Ben Whishaw, which possesses the power to fill its owner with feelings of contentment. However, those exposed to the plant begin to exhibit strange and disturbing behaviour.

In cinemas February 21st.




The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
After failing to get the project off the ground for three decades, Terry Gilliam has finally managed to bring his take on Miguel de Cervantes' tale to the screen. Gilliam's film is a postmodern riff on the classic story, featuring Adam Driver as a commercials director who revisits a version of Don Quixote he made himself years earlier. Jonathan Pryce plays Quixote in the film within a film.

In cinemas January 31st.



No Time to Die
No Time to Die
Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in director Cary Fukunaga's No Time to Die. Having quit the spy game, Bond finds himself lured back into service when the CIA's Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) asks for help rescuing a kidnapped scientist. Series regulars Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Rory Kinnear and Christoph Waltz return, joined this time by Ana de Armas, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch and David Dencik.

In cinemas April 2nd.



Parasite
Parasite
Winner of the Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival and a surprise hit in US cinemas, Bong Joon-ho's Parasite sees the Korean filmmaker return to his native language following a stint in English language filmmaking with Snowpiercer and OkjaParasite explores South Korea's class divisions through a story of two families - one working class, one middle class - who form a symbiotic relationship that becomes threatened by the arrival of an interloper.

In cinemas February 7th.



The Perfect Candidate
The Perfect Candidate
Saudi filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour famously defied her country's misogynistic laws by filming her 2012 debut Wadjda, often having to direct her actors while hiding in the back of a van. After making her English language debut with the Elle Fanning vehicle Mary Shelley, al-Mansour has returned to Saudi Arabia to stir the feminist pot once more with The Perfect Candidate, the story of a female doctor who controversially runs as a candidate in a local election.

In cinemas March 27th.



Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Winner of Best Screenplay and the Queer Palm at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, writer/director Céline Sciamma's period romance Portrait of a Lady on Fire stars Noémie Merlant as a painter hired to paint a secret portrait of a young society woman (Adèle Haenel) who is destined to enter into a loveless marriage. Romance blossoms between painter and subject in this intoxicating drama set in 1760 France.

In cinemas February 28th.




Proxima
Proxima
The emotional toll of space exploration on astronauts has been explored recently in both the acclaimed Ad Astra and the not so acclaimed Lucy in the SkyDirector Alice Winocour (Disorder) weighs in on this subject with Proxima, which focusses on Sarah (Eva Green), an astronaut who wrestles with the implications of leaving her young daughter (Zélie Boulant) behind while she embarks on a year long mission in space.

In cinemas April 17th.



Richard Jewell
Richard Jewell
Clint Eastwood's latest as director tells the story of Richard Jewell, a security guard who saved lives when he discovered a bomb at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Jewell was subsequently rewarded for his actions by topping the FBI's list of suspects. Paul Walter Hauser is excellent as the eponymous hero of this tale of injustice.

In cinemas January 31st.




Rocks
Rocks
Suffragette's Sarah Gavron directs this drama set in the streets of modern London. Newcomer Bukky Bakray plays 'Rocks', a teenager forced to fend for herself and her young brother when they are abandoned by their mother. Comparisons have been made with Céline Sciamma’s Girlhood as it adopts an uplifting tone in spite of its scenario.

In cinemas April 10th.



Run
Run
Director Aneesh Chaganty scored a surprise commercial and critical hit with his 2018 debut Searching. Chaganty sticks with the thriller genre for his sophomore feature, which stars Kiera Allen as a homeschooled, disabled teen who begins to suspect her mother (Sarah Paulson) is keeping a dark secret from her.

In cinemas March 6th.



Saint Maud
Saint Maud
Rose Glass's directorial debut is an intimate psychological thriller. Morfydd Clark plays Maud, a young nurse entrusted with the care of Amanda (Jennifer Ehle), a terminally ill choreographer. A religious zealot who disapproves of Amanda's lifestyle, Maud becomes determined to save her patient's soul, by any means necessary.

In cinemas May 1st.




Sea Without Shore
Sea Without Shore
Stuck in limbo since its festival debut back in 2015, co-directors Andre Semenza and Fernanda Lippi's Sea Without Shore finally sees the light of day in 2020. This experimental film employs interpretive dance and centres on a grieving woman (Lippi) who experiences visions of her late lover.

In cinemas February 14th.



Seberg
Seberg
Today an actor just has to put out a few soundbites in support of a cause and they're considered an activist, but back in the '60s, actress Jean Seberg put her life on the line with her support of the civil rights movement, finding herself under constant surveillance by the FBI. Director Benedict Andrews' biopic/political thriller Seberg stars Kristen Stewart in the title role, with Jack O’Connell playing a fictional young FBI agent tasked with bringing about her downfall.

In cinemas January 10th.




System Crasher
System Crasher
This German drama from writer/director Nora Fingscheidt focusses on a troubled nine-year-old girl (Helena Zengel) who finds herself trapped in a child welfare system that struggles to understand her wild nature. System Crasher has been selected to represent Germany at this year's Oscars.

In cinemas March 27th.



Tenet
Tenet
The latest "thinking man's blockbuster" from Christopher Nolan recently released an enigmatic trailer that didn't give too much away but got viewers excited with its dazzling visuals. What we do know about Tenet is that it's a sci-fi thriller revolving around time travel as a special agent (John David Washington) attempts to prevent World War III.

In cinemas July 17th.



Top Gun: Maverick
Top Gun 2
Hollywood continues to surf the wave of '80s nostalgia with this belated sequel to one of the decade's biggest hits. Tom Cruise is back as Maverick, now an instructor who finds the son of his late friend Goose among his latest crop of pupils. Trailers promise impressive aerial sequences, another volleyball game and lots of Cruise smiling.

In cinemas July 17th.



True History of the Kelly Gang
True History of the Kelly Gang
Australian director Justin Kurzel (Macbeth; Assassin's Creed) returns home to tell the story of his country's most infamous outlaws. Based on Peter Carey's 2000 novel, the film stars George MacKay as Ned Kelly, with Russell Crowe, Thomasin McKenzie, Nicholas Hoult and Charlie Hunnam also starring.

In cinemas February 28th.



The Truth
The Truth
Arguably Asia's greatest living filmmaker, Hirokazu Koreeda (Like Father, Like Son; Shoplifters; Our Little Sister) enters the world of European cinema with this French set drama. The film stars two of France's biggest stars, Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche, the former playing a veteran movie star, the latter her daughter, who arrives from the US to celebrate the publishing of her mother's memoirs with her husband (Ethan Hawke) in tow. The publishing of the book dredges up long-simmering hostilities between mother and daughter, whose views of the past differ greatly.

In cinemas March 20th.



The Turning
The Turning
Henry James' gothic novel 'The Turning of the Screw' has been adapted several times, most notably as the 1961 classic The Innocents. The story of a nanny who discovers the dark secret of the two orphans she's charged with caring for now gets transplanted from England to Maine, US, for director Floria Sigismondi's The TurningMackenzie Davis takes the role of nanny Kate, with Finn Wolfhard and Brooklynn Prince as orphans Miles and Flora.

In cinemas January 24th.



Uncut Gems
Uncut Gems
Adam Sandler is cast against type in the latest energetic street level drama from the Safdie brothers (Good Time; Heaven Knows What). Sandler plays Howard Ratner, a diamond merchant who comes into possession of a rare Ethiopian blue opal, which he sees as his ticket to the good life. But when the diamond falls out of his hands and with violent loan sharks on his case, Ratner finds himself racing against the clock to dig himself out of a dangerous hole.

In cinemas January 10th.



Underwater
Underwater
Director William Eubank's sci-fi survival thriller Underwater stars Kristen Stewart, T.J. Miller, Vincent Cassel, John Gallagher Jr., Jessica Henwick, Mamoudou Athie and Gunner Wright as crew members of an underwater research vessel who find themselves trapped on the ocean floor following an earthquake. As if that wasn't bad enough, it seems the earthquake has awakened something sinister.

In cinemas February 7th.



Vivarium
Vivarium
Director Lorcan Finnegan's Vivarium is a sci-fi satire of modern suburban domesticity and gender roles. Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg play a young couple who find themselves trapped in an eerily empty suburban estate, where they are forced to raise a child together.

In cinemas March 27th.



Waves
Waves
If you're a fan of American independent cinema, you'll no doubt be heavily anticipating Waves, the latest drama from writer/director Trey Edward ShultsAs with his previous films, Krisha and It Comes at Night, Waves is a drama with family at its centre, this time an African-American family coping in the midst of a recent tragedy.

In cinemas January 17th.




West Side Story
West Side Story
It's difficult to imagine topping Robert Wise's 1961 adaptation of the Broadway smash, but Steven Spielberg has taken up the challenge. Starring Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler as lovers Tony and Maria, Spielberg's film is said to stick more closely to the original stage script than Wise's version.

In cinemas December 18th.



Without Remorse
Without Remorse
With films like Subbura and Sicario 2: Soldado, director Stefano Sollima has proven himself the equal of his father Sergio when it comes to helming gritty action. This Tom Clancy adaptation, scripted by Taylor Sheridan, stars Michael B. Jordan as a Navy SEAL seeking revenge for his wife's murder.

In cinemas September 18th.



The Woman in the Window
The Woman in the Window
No it's not a remake of Fritz Lang's 1944 noir classic. Rather director Joe Wright's The Woman in the Window is adapted from the novel by author AJ FinnAmy Adams stars as Anna, an agoraphobic alcoholic who claims to witness the murder of a neighbour, Jane (Julianne Moore), only to have her sanity questioned by the victim's husband (Gary Oldman) and a woman (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who now claims to be Jane.

In cinemas May 15th.